Child and Family Studies BA

Year of entry

2025 course information

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UCAS code
Start date
September 2024
Delivery type
On campus
4 years part time
Work placement

Course overview

Family therapy session

This four-year year part-time course is designed for those who work in a paid or voluntary capacity with children, young people and families and who are keen to develop their professional practice through further study.

Your ongoing work experience is a key element of the degree and theoretical learning will be grounded and critically examined in relation to your ongoing practice. Throughout the degree, you’ll develop an understanding of theoretical perspectives and professional practice in relation to your current role.

You’ll develop critical and conceptual understandings of children, young people and families and expand the range of perspectives that enhances your thinking and professional practice.

This includes exploration of ethical, professional, cultural and global considerations as well as insights from disciplines such as sociology, social policy, health and psychology. There's also a strong emphasis on engaging with research materials and processes.

There's a continued emphasis on helping you develop your academic skills to become effective and reflective practitioners. Group sizes are small enough for you to engage actively and you will be well-supported by your peers. The Lifelong Learning Centre (LLC) staff are dedicated to helping students achieve their academic and professional goals and to make the most of the opportunities provided by the University.

Lifelong Learning Centre support

We know that many mature and part-time students face unique challenges, including balancing academic study with other commitments. Whatever your concerns or questions, the Lifelong Learning Centre offers free specialist guidance, advice and support to mature and part-time students, from pre-application through to graduation and beyond.

Course details

This degree is firmly rooted in professional practice and allows you to bring your professional experience to your study. The course develops knowledge and skills in supporting children, their parents and families in a range of contexts. As you progress each year, there are increased opportunities to study optional modules and topics, which compliment your interests and career aspirations.

You’ll work on improving your confidence in decision-making and persuasive skills in project management and leadership. You’ll develop your critical and conceptual understandings of children, young people, and families and expand the range of perspectives that inform your thinking and professional practice. This includes exploration of ethical, professional, cultural, and global considerations, as well as insights from disciplines such as sociology, social policy, health, or psychology. You’ll also consider the ways in which your current professional experience can apply to other situations and areas of practice.

Year 1

You’ll develop your academic and study skills and begin to reflect upon your own personal and professional influences. You’ll explore how these might influence and enhance your practice with children and families. You’ll study key theories of child development and psychology and how they seek to explain children’s behaviour and capacities in different settings. You’ll also explore the social policy context of work with children and families; this frames the broader legal and policy context of the work we do.

Year 2

You’ll study the compulsory subjects of child protection/safeguarding children and working with others in multi-agency contexts. These are key knowledge requirements for effective and impactful work with children and families. You’ll also continue to deepen your reflective skills, exploring how your learning at university is influencing your practice with children and families. You'll also begin to make choices about which optional modules you’d like to study.

Year 3

You'll explore mental health, specifically working with children in care. You’ll also start exploring how research can be used to improve your practice with children and their families.

Year 4

You’ll undertake a year-long research project on a child and family studies topic of your choosing. This may include an analytical exploration of the profession and/or service that you work for, or ‘deeper dive’ into one of the topics you’ve studied so far. You’ll receive regular one-to-one support as you go along. There’s also emphasis on developing your professional autonomy, leadership and management capacities, preparing you for making confident decisions. In the final work-based module, we’ll prepare you for your next job application in the child and family/family support job market.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

Year 1 compulsory modules (100 credits)

Skills, Theoretical Perspectives and Practice in Children and Young People's Welfare (40 credits) - This module seeks to introduce you to a broad range of theories and perspectives on children, young people and families. You’ll reflect upon your own childhood and family experiences and contextualise these with reference to theoretical and research accounts of childhood and families, through historical and contemporary lenses. You’ll begin to explore how broader social policies and ‘the welfare state’ continues to influence family life at subtle and not so subtle levels.

An Introduction to Childhood and Child Development (20 credits) - This module will explore child development from several perspectives, including relationships with the environment, family, culture and society. It will also consider how children’s early relationships and attachments influence children’s development and resilience. You’ll develop critical thinking in relation to nature versus nurture debate and will be encouraged to take a holistic and ecological view of child development from a social, cultural, emotional and physical perspective.

Children, Young People and Families, Policy Development (20 credits) - This module develops understanding of current practice and policy developments in the context of perspectives on the state and its role in family welfare. Teaching methods include lectures, case studies, videos and group-based problem-solving exercises. You’ll develop knowledge of the historical development of social policy related to children and families. You’ll also analyse recent changes to social policy and explain some of the drivers for these.

Academic and Professional Development (20 credits) - This module provides the opportunity for you to develop and reflect upon key academic, digital, research and professional skills in relation to the compulsory modules on your course of study. Areas of focus will include academic and reflective writing, digital skills, finding appropriate sources and drawing on the elements most appropriate to study on your course. This will inform your future practice and enable you to identify your skills set and areas for further development.

Year 2 compulsory modules (100 credits)

Safeguarding Children - Family Support and Child Abuse (20 credits) - The aim of this module is to enable you to gain a solid grounding in the legal and policy requirements of safeguarding children in England and Wales. You’ll learn of the child protection process, from identifying the possibility that child abuse has occurred, through to making a referral and tracking it through child protection processes. You'll be able to identify the signs and symptoms of abuse and come to appreciate the complexities of defining abuse.

Working With Others in Children's Services (20 credits) - This module will examine the role of practitioners in multi-agency working in children's services and the models used in practice. You’ll apply theoretically informed values and principles of working with children and families. The module seeks to explore, analyse and evaluate the impact of contemporary policy on multiagency working. You'll reflect upon human and organisational factors and how they enable or hinder collaborative practice.

Child Welfare - Research, Policy and Practice (20 credits) - This module aims to explore the relationship between research, policy and practice relating to supporting children and families in various ways. It will also consider the benefits of policies that are informed by research evidence. You'll be introduced to research method concepts, including the differences in key methodologies social researchers undertake. There’s also a focus on the ethical considerations of involving service users, particularly children and young people as active participants in the research process.

Professional Practice (20 credits) - This module provides you with the opportunity to reflect upon the application of academic theory, research and policy developments to workplace practice within your employment sector. This will enable you to develop your knowledge, capabilities and skills with a view to making improvements to your own practice and workplace.

Year 2 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

  • Working with Change, Conflict and Crisis with Children and Families (20 credits)
  • Violent and Sexually Offending Young People (20 credits)
  • Application of Counselling Skills (20 credits)
  • Coaching and Mentoring (20 credits)
  • Writing for children and young adults (20 credits)
  • Adolescent and middle years development (20 credits)

Year 3 compulsory modules (80 credits)

Changing Children's Life Chances credits (20 credits) - This module focuses on policy areas, including early years, education and housing, where intervention might be a necessary component of any life chances strategy. You'll gain a strong foundation in understanding the impact of public policies on children and families, and how societal institutions could respond to these challenges. You’ll research and evaluate a local social issue that affects children’s life chances and use this research to present a project report to propose a potential solution.

Child and Family Studies: Research Methods (20 credits) - This module is designed to prepare you for undertaking a primary research project with children and families in your final year dissertation. The module aims to build upon your knowledge of research methodologies and design. You'll find this module useful as preparation for your dissertation or project, especially if the focus involves children and families.

Year 3 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

  • Contemporary Issues and Debates (20 credits)
  • Children Looked After and Their Experiences of The Care System (20 credits)
  • Young People, Families and Mental Health (20 credits)
  • Working with Change, Conflict and Crisis with Children and Families (20 credits)
  • Violent and Sexually Offending Young People (20 credits)
  • Application of Counselling Skills (20 credits)
  • Coaching and Mentoring (20 credits)
  • Writing for children and young adults (20 credits)
  • Adolescent and middle years development (20 credits)
  • Creative interventions in the city (20 credits)

Year 4 compulsory modules (80 credits)

Advanced Work-Based Learning (20 credits) - This module takes an intermediate/enhanced perspective on reflective practice in the workplace with children and families. Students should be familiar with the concept of reflective practice, including familiarity with key theories of reflection and the terminology they use, specifically the centrality of ‘critical incidents’ and mentally processing such experiences and critical incidents in a structured and systematic manner.

Leadership and Management in Work with Children and Families (20 credits) - This module is designed for those already managing teams or who are on a pathway to a management role through either choice or necessity. It will introduce you to key leadership and management theory and its application in child and family services

Dissertation (20 credits) - This module enables you to pursue in depth a topic, issue or research question of your choice from a learning and teaching perspective. Through independent research, which may include the collection of primary data, and with the support of a dissertation supervisor, you’ll evaluate and apply a range of theoretical models to practice. You’ll demonstrate an advanced level of analysis and synthesis in the research project report.

Learning and teaching

Teaching is imaginative and supportive to make sure you’re intellectually stretched and helped to become an independent learner. Group sizes are small, enabling you to engage actively and be well supported.

You'll learn through a mixture of campus-based and online blended learning opportunities which will include:

  • Regular face-to-face seminars on campus, in which you'll be encouraged to explore concepts and share their applications to practice in your teaching and learning contexts.
  • A range of different approaches to learning will cater for a variety of student needs and preferences including small group discussions, whole class debates, group analysis of case studies or video clips.
  • Group tutorials that will be developed and negotiated with you in line with your needs and interests to support your learning. These will take place both on campus and online.
  • Individual academic personal tutorials that are supported by a range of online resources and tools covering topics such as wellbeing, career development and academic and personal skills. These are available on campus or online.
  • Multi-media online learning resources available on the University Virtual Learning Environment where the learning materials, sources and resources for each module, including session recordings, will be available.
  • Personal study using online and library resources and sources.

Learning opportunities will be delivered by the course team, who have years of experience as educational professionals in a range of fields, with the addition of visiting speakers relating to specialisms, experience or roles in the sector.

Most of the learning is available online, so you can study at a time and pace that suits you. Tutors are always on hand to respond to questions and offer support.

As well as having the flexibility of being able to study at a time that suits, you will also have the flexibility to choose when you want to attend classes. You can opt to attend one day per week between 12-2:00pm, or between 5-7:00pm, depending on your life and work commitments.

You'll also be given opportunities to attend talks and seminars on a range of subject areas that are delivered across the LLC. You'll be invited to engage in our Community of Practice, where existing and alumni students share experiences and expertise relating to practice, career development and opportunities.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.


You will be assessed entirely through coursework assignments. There are a wide range of assessment types which are authentic and relevant to work in the sector. These could include writing child protection and sexual harm risk assessment reports, presenting project bids, observation reports, interviews, and developing and creating information materials for children and families. You'll be provided with opportunities to focus on topics of interest in your assessments and there's scope to negotiate assessment titles with module tutors on some modules.

You're also encouraged to draw and reflect on your own experiences of learning and supporting children and families to explore and analyse how theories and published research can be applied to real life contexts.

Digital skills development is embedded within all modules. We aim to develop student confidence and expertise in using digital technologies to participate in modern society and communicate across a range of contexts, using the most appropriate and expedient digital tools.

Entry requirements


3 A-level passes or equivalent e.g. CACHE level 3

GCSE: English and Maths grade C/4 or equivalent. T Levels will be considered on a case by case basis. We welcome applications from students with a wide range of qualifications.

Other course specific tests:

Applicants must also be engaged in relevant work (paid or voluntary) with a minimum of 4 hours of contact each week.

We actively encourage applications from mature students, those who will be over 21 at the point of entry. Further consideration will be given to the life experience of mature applicants and the circumstances in which they gained prior qualifications. If you don't have the entry qualifications, please see the alternative entry section below.

Alternative qualification

Access to HE Diploma

Complete 60 credits with 45 credits at Level 3, of which 30 must be at Merit or above and 15 at Pass

Other Qualifications

CACHE level 3

Alternative entry

Alternative Entry Scheme for mature applicants

If you are a mature applicant and if you don't have the required A Level or GCSE qualifications, you can complete our Alternative Entry Scheme. As part of this, you may be asked to take tests in English and maths and to write an essay. Contact the Lifelong Learning Centre for more information.

If you are a mature student or want to study part-time, the Lifelong Learning Centre offers a free, confidential, and impartial pre-entry guidance service. Our experienced staff can also talk to you about how you might meet the entry criteria and what support may be available to you.


UK: £9,250 (per year)


Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will be £9,250 for students starting in 2024/25.

The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation only, as a consequence of future changes in Government legislation and as permitted by law.

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2025/26
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students starting in 2025/26 have not yet been confirmed by the UK government. When the fee is available we will update individual course pages.

Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2024/25 and 2025/26
Tuition fees for international students for 2024/25 are available on individual course pages. Fees for students starting in 2025/26 will be available from September 2024.

Part-time fees
Fees for part-time courses are normally calculated based on the number of credits you study in a year compared to the equivalent full-time course. For example, if you study half the course credits in a year, you will pay half the full-time course fees for that year.

You will study at 83% intensity (100 credits) for years 1-2. Fees for 2024/25 are £7677.50 (83% of £9,250). In years 3-4 you will study at 67% intensity (80) credits. The fee you are charged in years 2 to 4 will be calculated as a proportion of the full time fee agreed for that year.

There are no upfront fees to pay. All eligible students are able to borrow the entire cost of tuition fees making study free at the point of entry, with good repayment terms. You are eligible if you are studying for 30+ credits per year on a programme that is at a higher level than any qualification already held. Previous study in Higher Education may affect your eligibility.

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2023/24
Tuition fees for UK part-time undergraduate students starting in 2023 will be £9,250. The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation, and as permitted by law. Fees for UK undergraduate students are decided by the Government and may vary if policy changes.

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more on our living costs and budgeting page.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.


For guidance on applying to a Lifelong Learning Centre course, visit our admissions guidance page.

Apply to this course through the Lifelong Learning Centre. We will treat all applications individually. We’ll take into account an applicant’s life experience and the circumstances in which they have gained qualifications and we encourage you to cover these things in your personal statement.

Your application will be reviewed by the Admissions Team, and if you’re successful you’ll be invited to an interview that will involve a piece of writing.

If you’re entering through the Alternative Entry Scheme you’ll be sent details after your interview.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Admissions Policy 2025

This course is taught by

Lifelong Learning Centre

Contact us


Career opportunities

Graduates from the course go onto a variety of roles both within and outside the child and family, education and family support sectors. Some students progress into further education and training, including Masters level studies. Recent graduates have gone on to Primary PGCEs, MSc/ MA studies in related subjects (Child and Adolescent Mental Health, Family Support), and to roles such as Educational Support in HE and Behaviour. Obtaining the degree is often a prerequisite to stepping up into a managerial position, which our students often do.

Careers support

We have experienced careers guidance officers in the LLC who can provide you with bespoke advice and guidance, focusing on career development and employment opportunities in the local and regional area. You'll be provided with regular updates on local employment opportunities in education and training, as well as in related sectors (administration, management and social care). You'll also be supported with job search, CV/application and interview skills.

Study abroad and work placements

As an entry requirement for the course, you'll be required to engage in a relevant working environment on a paid or voluntary basis. You'll undertake modules in Years 1, 2, 3 and 4 which focus on your working environment where you’ll reflect on your skills and knowledge development in the workplace, linked to topics and themes explored at different stages of the course.